by Bethany Torstenson
Digital Manager and Writer, John Locke Foundation
Saturday, October 7, marked the single deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust, many calling it “Israel’s 9/11.”
Hamas, a bloodthirsty terrorist organization backed by Iran, declared war on Israel early Saturday morning, with a heavy barrage of rockets firing into central Israel as dozens of terrorists infiltrated southern Israel.
That was only the beginning.
The infiltration of Israel by land, air, and sea led to the slaughter, kidnapping, mutilation, and parading of innocent victims through the streets. Hamas terrorists have sunk to a depth of barbarity that should shock everyone to the core.
While members of the press and many on social media share the horrific images of the war, I believe we must recognize the incredible courage, fight, and determination the Israeli people embody.
This morning, I read about 95-year-old Ezra Yachin, who has become the oldest Israeli reservist to put his uniform back on to help his nation fight Hamas.
Yachin served as a combat soldier with an underground paramilitary group active during British rule and fought to create a Jewish homeland.
His message to his people:
“Don’t give up, not even now.”
Friend, this is just one story of many. Israelis have persisted through 75 years of open and intense hostility. They will survive this, but we, those committed to liberty both at home and abroad, must not look away.
Unfortunately, and to no surprise, a battle of narratives will develop. Some already have.
At Harvard University, a coalition of 31 student groups released a statement reading:
“We, the undersigned student organizations, hold the Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence.”
Harvard isn’t alone. Pro-Palestinian student groups and several institutions across this country are planning events in support of Hamas and their armed attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.
Individuals in America and around the globe are protesting and rallying in the streets in support of Hamas and the extermination of Jews. Right here in Raleigh, demonstrations are being held.
Today, the North Carolina State Legislature unanimously (104-0) passed a Resolution (HR 897) from House Speaker Tim Moore urging Congress to:
“Offer full and unequivocal support of Israel financially and otherwise for as long as it takes for Israel to bring justice in light of the unprovoked attacks on innocent Israeli civilians.”
While the resolution passed unanimously by those in attendance (104-0), a group of 12 House Democrats walked out of the chamber rather than voting, as reported by the Carolina Journal.
You can click here to watch the North Carolina House of Representatives vote in favor of Speaker Moore’s resolution.
In the years to come, the events we’ve seen in the last few days will fill the pages of books, mold academic syllabi, and be retold to those who are not yet born.
Many of us have family members or friends who we have been unable to get ahold of, are missing, or are stuck in bomb shelters with no way of getting out.
Now, more than ever, those of us who cherish freedom and value human life should stand with the men and women courageously defending their families and friends against an onslaught of hate and malice.
Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Israel as they are once again forced to defend their homes and their democracy from tyrants.